AFC Championship Game 2012: Ravens vs. Patriots Predictions

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IJanuary 17, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots gestures as he calls signals out down the line of scrimmage against the Denver Broncos during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Each Tuesday,'s NFL simulation engine will provide you with predictions, box scores and statistics for every NFL game that week. The NFL simulation engine generates detailed information, including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win Percentage), average score and comprehensive box score link.

If you want to share your new-found NFL knowledge with friends and family, make sure to check out our NFL widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or click on the social networking share bar located at the top and bottom of the article.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically-based player ranking. Roster modifications have been made for injuries and suspensions, and those players are not part of their team's game simulation.

To account for injuries and roster moves announced late in the week, we will be re-simulating some games on Thursdays throughout the 2011 NFL season.

Check out our 2011 NFL Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week and find Locks and Upsets of the Week.


AFC Conference Championship: Ravens at Patriots

By: Ryan Fowler

If home is where the heart is, Joe Flacco will be lucky to survive a trip to New England this weekend.

The Ravens quarterback, 9-0 at home this season, has plenty of detractors and carries a chip on his shoulder because of it. However, his numbers, when stacked up against Tom Brady's, leave little to be desired and are why most believe the success of Ray Rice and the defense will dictate whether or not Baltimore advances to the Super Bowl.


In eight playoff games, Flacco has averaged a little over 153 passing yards per game with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. If you ignore this past weekend's game against Houston, Flacco's passing average dips to 150 yards per with four touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven road playoff games.

Brady threw six touchdown passes against Denver on Saturday. So, what took Flacco eight games to accomplish, Brady obliterated in two quarters, three minutes and change. The sync he and Rob Gronkowski showcase on any given weekend is a thing of beauty.

The Ravens defense may have Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed (ankle/probable), which can intimidate and slow down a T.J. Yates (three interceptions), but have failed to slow down opposing offenses over the last month. Houston tallied 315 total yards (compared to Baltimore's 227), Cincinnati finished with 336 (BAL 347) and the Browns' 256 total yards were only 28 fewer than the Ravens. It's hard to believe that type of effort on offense will be able to compete with the high-powered Patriots without a well-above average performance from Flacco.

Our simulation engine agrees. We simulated the Ravens and Patriots 1,001 times, and it's the Pats winning 56.4 percent of the time by an average score of 23-22.

NFL Conference Championships
Matchup Win% Avg Score
New York Giants 36.7 19 Boxscore
at San Francisco 49ers 63.3 23 49ers&vSeason=2011&vTeam=New+York+Giants" target="_blank">Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens 43.6 22 Boxscore
at New England Patriots 56.4 23 Simulate Game


View our NFC Conference Championship Predictions